In Puerto Rico, ABHMS ministry yields a garden and professional growth

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/16/21)—Ministry comes in many shapes and forms. It can even take the shape of a garden that is feeding the people of Puerto Rico with fresh, nutritious and delicious produce.

Facilitated by ABHMS’ Minister Abigail Medina Betancourt, a garden on the grounds of the Ruth Maldonado Retreat Center is providing three kinds of lettuce, coriander, cilantro, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, corn and carrots to island residents, still struggling in the wake of Hurricane Maria more than three years ago.

In addition, the garden at the retreat center—where volunteers reside during restoration projects—features eight benches, a plant nursery and 20 fruit trees, including tangerine and papaya. Desde mi Huerto Inc. provided training in building and maintaining the garden, preparing seedbeds and compost, controlling pests and creating fertilizer. Seven volunteers from six churches planted the garden and are harvesting its yield.

“In a country where the majority of our goods are imported, this project is vital because it will help us to promote self-sustainability, and we will be less dependent in case of any disaster in the future,” says Medina Betancourt.

As the garden has yielded its bounty, so has Medina Betancourt grown in her ministry with ABHMS. In January she was called to serve as the full-time Intercultural Ministries strategist. In this position, she encourages sensitivity to cultural awareness, supports ministries in multicultural and intercultural contexts and works to strengthen American Baptist leaders’ capacity to implement effective ministries. Medina Betancourt holds a Masters of Divinity from the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.